Every week we give readers of BOKzine the opportunity to ask questions of South African rugby personalities. Simply sign up for our weekly fan newsletter, BOKzine, by clicking here!
New Bok captain Jean de Villiers was in the Hot Seat this week and he got some interesting questions from readers of our weekly newsletter, BOKzine.
Your Question: Very well done on your appointment of BOK Captain. I am a Blue bull supporter. i've watch you during the game and realise that you talked a lot with Kaplan regarding the decisions going against the stormers. How does this effect a players focus and moral in shuch a tight game? thanks and good luck for the England tour? - Wesley
Jean answers: Thanks Wesley, appreciate the kind words, even from a Bulls fan. Games like that one are never easy, but I always like to chat to the referee about his decisions to see how we need to adapt to make the most of the way he sees things. We always try to keep our heads up - sometimes it's easier and sometimes it's difficult.
Your Question: Jean, with so much talent in South Africa giving promising young players a chance can come at the expense of veterans who are still in their prime both for their clubs and country and there are always questions about the effects this will have on the team. As a veteran, are you able to feel any difference, good, bad or indifferent, when playing with new caps in your side? - AJ White
Jean answers: AJ, to play with new caps is always special. They bring so much excitement to the team and that is a constant reminder to us older okes to enjoy and cherish what we have. Heyneke said it perfectly - what we've lost in experience, we've made up in hunger in desire.
Your Question: How do you feel being selected as the Bok captain and will this influence your normal play pattern? I am so proud that a Stormer is the captain and you deserve this. - Andries van Breda
Jean answers: Andrien, I can't explain to you how special it is. It felt the same as the first time I was selected to play for the Boks, 10 years ago. It won't change the way I play though - I will just have some added responsibilities on and off the field, but being surrounded by so many great leaders, makes that much easier.
Your Question: Congratulations Jean - well deserved Springbok captain!Do you speak to previous Springbok Captains to get some advice based on their experience, or do you know what to do based on your own experience, being so long in the Springbok jersey? May the Lord be with you and the team going forward. - Brian Delport
Jean answers: Yes Brian, I did and I will keep on doing that. Guys like John and Victor have so much knowledge to impart with and I will never turn down the opportunity to learn from them. Luckily I've also had a few games as captain before as well.
Your Question: Why on earth was Lambie left out of the starting side? Really - where is the logic? - Shirley Mullenbach
Jean answers: Team selection is the coach's job, but I'm sure you're happy that he's back at fullback this week Shirley.
Your Question: staan agter jou as kaptein van 'n bak span. go bokke! - Louise Marais
Jean answers: Baie dankie vir die ondersteuning Louise - thanks for the great support!
Your Question: always been a fan and very happy you got the job Jean!!! are the boys feeling the loss of smit,matfield and botha? those are big boots to fill and would be for any team in the world? do you think our new lock pair will have that sort of presence on the field? - Franco
Jean answers: Hi Franco - like I said in my answer to AJ earlier, we might have lost a lot of experience, but the new guys have brought something else to the table. I think our locks did very well on Saturday and they will grow as a partnership with time.
Your Question: First of all Jean congrats on being made Springboks captain & good luck in the series.Will your northern hemisphere experiences with Munster in Magners League/Heinekin Cup help bring an insight in to the psyche & abilities of the English team who are mostly from the Aviva Premiership & what is the biggest challenge the Springboks face in the series...JJ McTeggart - Irish Boks Fan.
Jean answers: Thanks JJ, always nice to see support from abroad! Yes, I do think so and I’ve learned a lot during my time with Munster, but having said that, our focus has been to put in place what we want to achieve in this series and to ensure we improve every day as we build for the rest of the season.
Your Question: Hi Captain, If you had to choose a team, which players would you choose, outside of Stormers/WP team. - Strawbs
Jean answers: One day when I coach, I will select a team - for now I'm very happy with the squad we have here.
Your Question: A HUGE congrats on your selection as captain. After some injuries in the past and having to miss some big games I just know, NOW is your time! I am a huge fan and just wanted to give you a positive "shout-out". Kyk mooi na jouself en sterkte! You DO have what it takes! Bokke Bo! - Roxy16
Jean answers: Baie dankie Roxy, I really appreciate the kind words.
Your Question: Hi Jean, i am so glad you the captain of the springboks, now i will support them 50%, i am a STORMER supporter, how are you going to handle, playing with the opposition (all that Blue Bulls). - Desmond
Jean answers: Hi Desmond - now that we're all with the Boks, we represent our country and not our provinces. Having said that, I've never had any problems with players from other provinces and I think the squad we've assembled is a very good one considering all the players that are not available.